ABC orders celebrity diving reality series ‘Celebrity Splash’

By Daniel S Levine,

Diving fans are usually out of luck in the four years between the Olympics since the sport is rarely covered on TV. However, ABC is ready to give them diving before Rio in 2016, albeit with celebrities instead of the best divers in the world.

Deadline reports that the network has ordered Celebrity Splash, based on a Dutch series of the same name. It will be produced by Eyeworks USA and will go straight to series.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Dutch version, which premiered in August, has been a big success, averaging a 26.5 percent market share during Saturday primetime. The series has already been sold in the UK, France and Australia markets.

Executive producers include JD Roth, Todd A. Nelson and Brant Pinvidic.

The series is very similar to ABC’s long running Dancing with the Stars, where celebrities are taught by professional instructors how to hone their diving skills. As the show progresses, challenges for the celebrities increase in difficulty. They’ll be taught backflips, somersaults and other daring feats. The ratings for DWTS have been slipping this season, so this could give the network a much-needed reality hit.

“Eyeworks had been developing the Celebrity Splash format for years, confident that it would resonate in the family entertainment genre with audiences around the world," Eyeworks Group founder and CEO Reinout Oerlemans said in a statement. “Now, coming off its huge and instantaneous success in Holland, with SBS believing in its potential based on the strength of the format, we are thrilled to have sold it to the U.S.”

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